IMA CPIM Certification Highlights Importance of Program Design
Two Levels of Certification: IP and CPIM
Perspectives of CPIM Recipients
With the growing importance of program design in the Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition (IRR) field, RRN checked in on the status of the Incentive Marketing Association’s Certified Professional of Incentive Management (CPIM) with Bill Martocci, CPIM, President, Carlisle Sales & Marketing, and Certification Chair for the Incentive Marketing Association.
RRN: What does the IMA’s Certification Program encompass?
Martocci: The Incentive Marketing Association offers an Incentive Professional (IP) designation and a Certified Professional of Incentive Management (CPIM) certification.
RNN: With so much online education available today, is certification still important?
Martocci: Earning an IP designation or a CPIM certification is something you do for yourself, your career, and your customers. Best practices evolve and the certification educational content evolves with them. To maintain your CPIM, you must successfully renew the certification every three years.
Two Levels of Certification: IP and CPIM
RRN: How does one earn the designation and certification?
Martocci: The IP designation is earned by taking the Principles of Results-Based Incentive Program Design course. You must pass the course exam to earn your IP designation. The CPIM is a further certification IPs may apply for with the added criteria of industry participation. Points are earned for participating in association-specific activities as well as attendance at industry tradeshows and other functions. Earning a certification that exhibits industry knowledge in the IP and then the added components of interaction within the industry for a CPIM expresses any person’s commitment to being knowledgeable and active.
RNN: What does the content of the Principles of Results-Based Program Design focus on?
Martocci: It’s important to have a well-designed incentive program, and that’s what is emphasized in the course materials. The curriculum IMA has cultivated over the years remains strong and relevant for those interested in improving their industry knowledge. There are so many components to the industry from designing and running a program to the ever-changing legal landscape, I am confident even the most knowledgeable industry minds will learn something they had not known before studying these materials.
RNN: How long has the IMA been offering the IP and CPIM?
Martocci: The IMA has been offering accreditation for 18 years, and we have been updating the curriculum every few years. Over this time, a group of industry professionals has contributed significant time and energy to make this program a valuable training and career resource for incentive industry professionals and for those who want to better understand how effective incentive programs are designed. Contributors have included: The Incentive Research Foundation; the original authors, Bruce Bolger (CPIM) and Roger Stotz, CPIM, whose vision and dedication created an insightful resource for incentive planners; David Chrisman, CPIM, along with training consultants and curriculum designers Penny Drain and Dennis O‘Connor and were instrumental in expanding the program’s original content and making the curriculum the most comprehensive resource available on incentive program design, implementation, and measurement. Most recently, IMA President Emeritus, Barb Hendrickson, CPIM, and the numerous incentive professionals serving on the Certification Task Force worked on updating the course.
Perspectives of IP and CPIM Recipients
Julie Ford, IP, Ford Incentives
Julie Ford, IP, reports that she's a second-generation multi-line incentive representative, so she grew up in the incentive industry. The IP designation was on her radar for a while, as she knew it was a way to educate and differentiate herself within the industry, she says. When it came time to take the exam, she says she was initially nervous, but adds that the presentation and the sourcebook were great resources that helped ensure she would pass. Ford says the knowledge she gained from the course and exam has proven to be invaluable to her as she develops strategies and key metrics to evaluate programs.
Benita Johnson, CPIM, Home Chef
Benita Johnson, CPIM, says she became involved in the incentive industry over 15 years ago when her role included managing a B2B (business-to-business) gift card program. She learned of the IP credential during her first IMA Summit and immediately became interested, as she wanted to further her career development with a certification that supported her area of expertise. Johnson says the process of earning her IP was simple and thorough and that she was able to better understand the application of gift cards to differentiate incentive programs. For anyone else considering getting their IP, she encourages them to go for it. After earning her IP, she furthered her accreditation by earning her Certified Professional of Incentive Management.
David Rosenstock, CPIM, IncentiveSource, Inc.
David Rosenstock, CPIM, joined the industry over 20 years ago. He first heard about the IP designation at an IMRA (Incentive Merchandise to Reward and Appreciate) Conference and became interested in pursuing it to become educated on all facets of the industry. Rosenstock believes the knowledge he gained from the course will be invaluable over time, including a deeper understanding of the theory and development of incentive and recognition programs. For anyone considering getting their IP designation, he encourages them to do it as soon as possible. He says he waited too long to get his and could have used the information he learned to benefit his career much earlier. After earning his IP, he furthered his accreditation by pursuing his Certified Professional of Incentive Management, CPIM.
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